A smart TV is also known as connected TV, as this TV is connected to the internet. It makes use of internet with the help of built-in applications. For instance, a smart TV is equipped to play movies and songs from Netflix and YouTube respectively. Moreover, Smart TVs have other apps in-built such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, internet browser, and Angry Birds, so you can fulfill your web usage and social media needs on the TV itself.
The present market segment has smart TVs in middle tier to top tier lineups. Now even budget TV manufacturers are offering smart TV products at affordable prices. Smart TVs are all-purpose devices.
Theoretically, having a smart TV is a great luxury since TV can be connected to the internet for playing video content from YouTube and Netflix instantly. Users can surf the internet with the web browser. With a smart TV, the clutter of boxes and cables is eliminated.
Moreover, users can stream movies from different websites and use variety of apps supported by smart TV. It’s a onetime investment.
This guide will explain the functions and features of a smart TV and various alternatives for budget conscious users. Moreover, safety tips are also given to prevent accidents.
Benefits of Smart TV
Most modern televisions are smart by default. The market for non-smart model TVs is becoming constricted. Apart from watching television on a smart TV, there is range of other benefits as well:
Smart TVs are loaded with applications or they can be downloaded from the Google PlayStore. In most cases, files can be streamed from Amazon and Netflix and TV can be view via BBC iPlayer. Moreover, these smart TVs provide access to social networking websites as well.
Video on Demand
The video on demand service is the best feature of a smart TV. It includes YouTube, online movie trailers, and subscriptions to Netflix library of movies and TV shows.
Smart TVs have a built-in web browser for surfing the internet and reading content online. Videos and images can also be viewed on smart TVs. User-friendliness exists in all categories.
In order to maintain a competitive edge in market, smart TVs have a variety of extra features such as customizable home screens and bonus products,
Requirements for smart TV
A wireless connection is needed for a smart TV to operate with the internet. All smart TVs have Wi-Fi capability built-in. Some need a Wi-Fi dongle and some connect instantly. Moreover, an Ethernet cable can also be used in case of non-availability of Wi-Fi.
For streaming video, a fast broadband speed is necessary. Purchase an unlimited package since limits will be exceeded multiple times while surfing movies
For using services such as ITV player and iPlayer, a license is required. In any other case video content is plug-n-play.
Making your TV a Smart TV
In case a Smart TV is too expensive, there are certain ways to use internet on a conventional television. Many cheaper alternatives exist for replacing a smart TV. These include:
- Game consoles
- Smart blu-ray players
- Home theater PCs
- Streaming boxes
- Personal Computer
All new gaming consoles provide open access to multiple video on demand and media streaming applications. In fact, PlayStation 3 is the most sought device for movie streaming. The latest PlayStation 4 gives the same access of applications. Rising to the competition, Xbox One has incorporated voice system via Kinect system for TV control.
Home Theatre PC
The Smart TV experience is amplified when home theatre PC gives open access to all the digital content, website, and games in a high quality experience. A home theatre PC is basically a low power computer which runs smoothly without any interruptions. Windows Media Centre and XBMC are the tools needed for navigation with a remote control. However, they have a tendency to fluctuate when high quality videos are played.
Smart Blu-ray players
Certain TV manufacturers provide access to their TV platforms from their blu-ray players. Blu-ray players are affordable devices but can really enhance the viewing experience greatly.
A typical TV can be transformed into a smart TV with the help of certain devices, such:
- Roku streamers
- Now TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chrome cast
These products provide easy access to TV shows and video on demand facilities as well as other apps.
This a subscription free service which amalgamates digital TV and catch-up TV services from top main channels:
- Demand 5
- ITV Player
- BBC iPlayer
This device is available as a single device as well as available in different deals
When a monitor is connected to a TV, it becomes a smart TV of sorts. An analog VGA input device is needed for this. In other cases, HDMI input and DVI socket can also be used for connecting a TV to a computer. These cables hardly cost anything.
Smart TV security
It’s necessary to prevent any malware attacks when internet is connected to any device. Listed below are certain steps to ensure a safe viewing experience:
Going into web browser settings, the user can disable cookies from third party websites. Moreover, private browsing option is also available. The downside of private browsing is that user’s history is wiped out after each session.
Ensure that network is airtight and safe from hackers and virus attacks. Set the WLAN setting to WPA2 standard, which secures the router. Moreover, activate the firewall for protecting against exterior threats and security lapses.
Use passwords consisting of words, numbers, and special characters to prevent hacking attempts. Such passwords are hard to crack in comparison to 1234 and abcd.
In case the user is apprehensive of the product’s security, then the company should be contacted for active guidance
Depending on the user’s preference and budget range, smart TVs provide different features and functions. The pricing is competitive and each brand promises high quality viewing experience.
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